Minor scales

Minor scales are scales with a b3.

  • Natural minor or Aeolian mode: 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7. C natural minor: C - D - Eb - F - G - Ab - Bb - C. Compared to melodic minor it contains a b6, and a b7.
  • Harmonic minor: 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, 7. C harmonic minor contains these notes: C - D - Eb - F - G - Ab - B - C
  • Melodic minor (ascending), as used in jazz: 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Like a major scale with a flat third. C Melodic Minor: C - D - Eb - F - G - A - B.
  • Melodic minor (descending): 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7. C Melodic Minor descending: C - D - Eb - F - G - Ab - Bb.
  • Melodic minor pentatonic: 1, 2, b3, 5, 6. C melodic minor pentatonic is: C - D - Eb - G - A
  • Pentatonic minor: 1, b3, 4, 5, b7. C pentatonic minor: C - Eb - F - G - Bb
  • Blues scale (adds a flat fifth to the pentatonic minor): 1, b3, 4, b5, 5, b7. C Blues Scale: C - Eb - F - Gb - G - Bb - C
  • Three of the modes of the major scale are minor:
    • Dorian: 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, 6, b7. D dorian: D - E - F - G - A - B - C
    • Phrygian: 1, b2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7. This is the third mode of the major scale: E - F - G - A - B - C - D
    • Aeolian mode: 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7. Aeolian is the sixth mode of the major scale. A - B - C - D - E - F - G
    • Locrian: 1, b2, b3, 4, b5, b6, b7. The seventh mode of the major scale: B - C - D - E - F - G - A
  • Super-Locrian or the altered scale: 1, b2, b3, 3, b4, b5, b6, b7. Is a mode of the harmonic minor scale. diminished whole tone scale with a flat fourth: C - Db - Eb - E - Gb - Ab - Bb.

For more scales check out jazzguitarpro.com's online tools: the GuitarCodex applet, Chords and Scales applet, and the flash Scales finder.

Joe Diorio on where to use the C Melodic Minor Pentatonic